.Org Deal: Esther Dyson is “Appalled”

There has been a lot of coverage of the news that Public Interest Registry (PIR), operator of the .org registry, is going to be acquired by a private equity firm called Ethos Capital. Many of these articles have been highly critical of the announced deal. Here are a handful of the articles and blog posts I have seen that were written in the wake of the PIR / .org acquisition announcement:

PIR also published a website that has answers to several questions people have asked about the deal. In addition, Internet Society CEO Andrew Sullivan published a blog post in response to a public petition aimed at halting the deal.

I want to share a notable tweet I saw that was posted by Esther Dyson. I do not know Ms. Dyson, but her biography on ICANN’s website states that Ms. Dyson is “former Chairman of the ICANN Board.” The biography also states that she “was appointed as one of ICANN’s nine initial directors in October 1998.” Ms. Dyson has been involved with ICANN since its inception, and I think her opinion is valued and respected.

In her tweet that was posted yesterday, Ms. Dyson does not mince her words about the deal:

Namecheap, one of the largest domain registrars, has also been outspoken regarding the deal. The company’s public complaint and protest was referenced in this article in the BBC. Namecheap CEO Richard Kirkendall referenced the tweet from Ms. Dyson earlier today:

There have been a variety of protests, appeals, and petitions aimed at prohibiting this deal. I do not have the expertise to opine about whether or not this deal can or will be blocked, but it is going to be interesting to follow as this continues to develop.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. To be honest , Esther Dyson pops her head up every 10 years , makes a comment about ICANN and how it is not what it was XX years ago and then goes back into hibernation.

    Not to say this ORG deal is a good thing , but not really care what she has to say about the good old days .

    The article she retweets, now that is worth reading

  2. Money talks, Ethos has already bought their influence, or given them a stake of the pie that they will look the other way.

    Probably one of the biggest injustices to put .org in private hands of a VC.

    I really believe .com, net, .org should always stay neutral, and under some kind of oversight.

    ICANN is infested from within, and into the after life, it needs to clean house. People are only working for their self interest within.

    • From the human perspective, yes, but the ultimate truth is that if God is willing, it will not be allowed. He may or may not intervene. If He does not prevent it, then the reason may be that He has decided now is the time for this new incremental stage of global evil to take place. If He does prevent it, then it will still only be temporary, for a season, because ultimately history is heading in one direction to a definite end, and when it reaches the end global society will have become like what is prophesied.

      It is still good to fight this kind of thing with everything you’ve got and just hope and pray for the best while realizing the darkness may prevail but only for a time before the ultimate light.

      And no – this is not a good thing.

  3. Does anyone believe it could have even gotten this far if US oversight had not been removed to begin with, even under the current administration? (Note: your primary consideration is the question of being “politically feasible.”)

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